PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have become household names and are the leading ladies in Indian badminton. Their rivalry is much talked and it draws plenty of people whenever they take the court across the globe. Even at the Nationals recently, they met in the final and it was a treat for thousands in attendance in Nagpur. But little is known about their relationship off the court. Until PV Sindhu opened a little lid to it.
“We’re friends, like hi-bye… and that’s it,” Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu told Hindustan Times. “We actually play together during practice but there’s not much time to get interactive and talk to each other because we have our training sessions, so there’s no real time where we can sit and talk.”
Officially, in BWF sanctioned events, they’ve played twice with both ladies winning once each. But they’ve faced each other in other competitions such as the Premier Badminton League (PBL) and the nationals. They were slated to face off to begin the PBL season this year but Nehwal pulled out due to injury. Additionally, Saina has returned to Pullela Gopichand Baminton Academy in Hyderabad after working with Vimal Kumar. And they are equally competitive on the practice courts as well.
“Rivalry is always there. When you play on court, everybody wants to win, both have the aggression to win. The rivalry is good in a way, everybody has that nowadays,” said the world No.3 Sindhu. “You just need to play your game and keep going, that’s what I feel and when people talk about rivalry, it is nothing but just a fight in the match — that is required, everyone would do that, it is not a big issue.”
Sindhu is currently involved in PBL with Chennai Smashers while Saina is part of Awadhe Warriors.